Injury booster for Burnley

NO BIDS: Charlie Austin

NO BIDS: Charlie Austin

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BURNLEY go to The Den with Sean Dyche hoping for a few selection headaches.

The Clarets lie 10th after three wins from their last four league outings - a period in which they have been without key players such as Charlie Austin, Chris McCann, Martin Paterson and Ben Mee.

Caption=MILLWALL FC VS BIRMINGHAM CITY.NATIONWIDE DIVISION 1.PIC RICHARD PELHAM. 10.01.01.SEAN DYCHE SCORES THE EQUALISING GOAL FOR MILLWALL.

Caption=MILLWALL FC VS BIRMINGHAM CITY.NATIONWIDE DIVISION 1.PIC RICHARD PELHAM. 10.01.01.SEAN DYCHE SCORES THE EQUALISING GOAL FOR MILLWALL.

But three of those four could be fit to return tomorrow, while Brian Stock is also available after suspension.

Dyche said: “There are a few probables rather than possibles now.

“Pato has come through training for a couple of days, so hopefully that will continue.

“And Charlie is progressing naturally. A hamstring strain is like that until it’s right.”

McCann was close to featuring against Crystal Palace, but is likely to make the trip to South London after hamstring and knee problems.

McCann and Paterson are two of the players out of contract in the summer, along with fellow first team regulars Lee Grant, Michael Duff, Dean Marney and Ross Wallace, and the likes of Alex MacDonald, Kevin Long, Brian Jensen and Jon Stewart.

All are able to negotiate pre-contract arrangements with other clubs, but Dyche expects none to be sold before the transfer window closes.

He said: “There’s not an expectation of that at the moment.”

As regards negotiations, he added: “They are ongoing, which is just a natural course of how it is. We’re waiting for the defining moment when one says ‘yes’ or whatever.

“It’s just ongoing at the minute, with conversations with the club and relevant advisors, and players of course.”

And he also revealed there have been no offers for his players, including 23-goal Austin: “It’s an authentic ‘no’.”

However, he is aware from experience that things can change as the clock ticks down: “As we all know the window is what it is.

“It can be slow, slow, slow and then in the last 24 hours, for whatever reason, it can go to the last day to do something.

“None of us can work it out, but it can be like that.

“Yet again we’re just trying to be in a position to adjust if that happens for us to get someone in, or for someone to get ours. But I don’t think we’re radically different to any other club.

“We’ve got good players who people will be looking at, but you will see that country wide.”

Last year, Dyche experienced the uncertainty the window can cause, as Marvin Sordell was sold to Bolton Wanderers while he was manager of Watford - ironically before a game against Millwall: “The biggest one last year was Marvin Sordell. Five minutes before I did the team meeting I got told ‘he’s not playing. Ironically the big talk of the day was Adrian Mariappa going. In the end he stayed until the summer, and Marvin went to Bolton.

“There was a very strong mentality about the group and they got on with it, and that’s the mentality that we’re building here. It’s onwards and upwards relentlessly and keep driving forward.”

Dyche was part of a similar mentality at Millwall, helping the club win promotion to the second tier in 2001, reaching the play-offs the following year, only to lose out to Birmingham, and he said: “It’s a club I had a really good time at and Kenny (Jackett)’s done a really good job.

“I enjoyed it. In my first year I was injured but my next two years I enjoyed.

“It’s an interesting place.

“It’s hostile in a way for you.

“I’ve witnessed some interesting times when they go against the opposition.

“It’s not a place for weak minds. You need to be ready to play and earn the right to play.

“You earn it everywhere, but you certainly have to earn it there.

“Kenny’s got them on a nice little run. We’re on a good run ourselves, so it makes for a good affair.”

Dyche was part of a side that included the likes of Tim Cahill, Lucas Neill and Steven Reid, who went on to star in the Premier League, and he looked back: “We had a very talented young group. There were a few older boys, including myself - I was probably 30 or 31 - Stuart Nethercott, Tony Warner was probably 26 or 27.

“Steve Claridge came in during our second season in the Championship, before that Neil Harris was flying.

“But the young boys were terrific. Already they were remarkably good young players, like Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill.

“There were some unsung heroes like Dave Livermore, who played with Tim Cahill in midfield and did all the ugly stuff. Robbie Ryan, Matt Lawrence at right back, Paul Ifill had a terrific season when we got promoted...

“There were a couple of lads who unforunately had to finish early through injury who were fantastic young players and would have been like a Cahill - Richard Sadlier and Joe Dolan , who unfortunately broke his leg.

“It was a real, real talented group when I look back.

“I wasn’t one! I was the glue that tried to hold it all together!”

• Football transfer news and gossip as it happens in the build up to deadline day on January 31st

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